The disturbing information about systemic and institutional corruption within the halal meat trade by a cartel comprising international exporters with the alleged connivance of 4 authorities companies is a provocative reminder of how entrenched such a tradition is in Malaysia (“MACC probing ‘halal’ meat smuggling cartel case”).
What’s really stunning is the corruption not solely subverted routine bureaucratic procedures but additionally the Islamic core injunction of halal meals, significantly on the subject of the prescribed ritual slaughter of meat for consumption by Muslims in keeping with the basic tenets of the religion – and it was enabled by authorities officers who presumably are themselves Muslims as well.
Regardless of a projected improve within the Muslim inhabitants to 30% of world inhabitants by 2050, which is likely one of the elements driving the profitable growth of the trade, information of this unholy cartel is certainly a setback and doesn’t augur nicely for the trade in Malaysia.
Aside from the reactive have to fortify the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Fee (MACC) with extra sources, and to get the Agriculture and Meals Business Ministry to extend its governance of the issuance of approval permits for meat importers, provided that corruption appears to be a lifestyle in Malaysia now, there’s a urgent and proactive want get forward of the curve to stop one thing like this from taking place once more.
One proactive measure that ought to be applied instantly is for the issuing authorities – on this case, the Agriculture and Meals Business Ministry because the issuer of APs and the Division of Islamic Improvement (Jakim) because the halal certifier – to go the blockchain route.
Blockchain expertise is a disruptive expertise that is part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that’s anticipated to vary the way in which we work and stay. Also referred to as distributed ledger expertise (DLT), it will possibly additionally disrupt cartel’s crafty methods to realize its fraudulent goal.
By means of sensible contracts, DLT may digitally prescribe processes and necessities in keeping with a halal normal, confirm halal compliance, and implement the efficiency of halal provide chains.
A wise contract is a pc protocol supposed to digitally facilitate, confirm or implement the negotiation or efficiency of a contract. Sensible contracts permit the efficiency of credible transactions with out third events.
As a result of blockchain is a decentralised system that exists between permitted events, there’s no have to pay intermediaries (middlemen) and it saves time and battle. Though DLT has its issues, it’s undeniably sooner, cheaper and safer than conventional programs, which is why banks and governments are turning to it.
When somebody requests a transaction, the request is broadcasted to a peer-to-peer (P2P) community comprising computer systems – often known as nodes – that validate the transaction and the person’s standing utilizing identified algorithms. As soon as verified, the transaction is mixed with different related earlier transactions to create a brand new block of information for the ledger, which is then added to the prevailing blockchain in a approach that’s everlasting and unalterable. The transaction is now full whereas ready for an additional transaction.
As an encrypted ledger database, blockchain is sort of inconceivable to hack, making its data – or blocks – completely verifiable. As a decentralised system with no single proprietor, any retroactive modifications to a document have to be verified by nearly all of probably hundreds of nodes, or members, in a series. Put merely, it’s a expertise that’s safe by design.
By means of blockchain expertise, a halal community timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a document that can’t be modified with out redoing the proof-of-work. The transactions usually are not saved centrally however distributed on many servers all through the world as cryptographic proof.
Blockchain expertise removes the necessity for a trusted third occasion to make sure an unbiased evaluation of the integrity of a product or its community, because the longest chain serves as proof of the sequence of occasions witnessed.
This expertise may implement end-to-end halal assurance primarily based on particular halal market necessities, supported by automated sensible contracts. A halal blockchain may present full transparency of all halal provide chain transactions which have ever been executed.
The blockchain has full details about the addresses and their provide chain path proper from the supply to the purpose of client buy, giving the much-needed assurance to Muslims that the “halal-ness” of the meals on their desk could be traced again by means of all of the areas of the halal provide chains that started with the unique farm or livestock farm, together with the identification of the farmers or livestock breeders.
Blockchains inject belief right into a halal provide chain and worth chain of a model proprietor who could be higher capable of assure halal integrity. They may be built-in into large sustainability and company duty programs to increase the model market past Muslim customers.
One of the crucial important real-world functions of blockchain expertise is information provenance – the documentation of the place a bit of information comes from and the processes and methodology by which it was produced. It creates a single, safe chain-of-custody timeline, designed to be tamper-proof. The system can be utilized to supply clients with a “story” about every product, overlaying supplies, areas, processes, components and suppliers, and allows companies to substantiate claims about their merchandise utilizing real-time information. With such a system, provenance monitoring of the place each bit of information comes from and whether or not it’s nonetheless updated turns into a breeze.
It’s excessive time the Agriculture and Meals Business Ministry adopts this technique within the issuance of APs for importers to convey halal meat into the nation and cord in different authorities companies, such because the Royal Malaysian Customs Division, the port police, the Home Commerce & Client Affairs Ministry and Jakim, to be a part of the community on this system of provenance primarily based on blockchain expertise.
Observe: The author is director of Media & Communications at Emir Analysis, an unbiased think-tank centered on strategic coverage suggestions.